There is no shiur(or limit) to learning Torah(Mishna Pe'ah). This means that there is no one way to learn or schedule to learn or specific amount to learn. Rather, there is a general requirement on every Jewish man over the age of 13 to engage in learning with the purpose of expanding his knowledge of the Torah and mitzvot until the day he leaves this world(Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah 246:1, 3, & 4).
This includes thinking about HaShem(Pirkei Avot 3:3), the mitvzot and how to fulfill them, their guidelines, the reading & understanding of Tanach, and contemplating the higher/inner dimensions of the Torah like kabbala, mussar, chassidut, etc.(remember seeing this in Igrot Kodesh).
There are different opinions of how to order their learning by splitting it into three parts(Mikra, Mishna, Talmud) or by learning the Talmud Bavli which includes all three(see SA YD 264:4 sourced above). There are different styles and methods of learning as well like aliba d'hilcheta, Brisker, and others(to name a few).
The main point of Talmud Torah is in knowing the Torah(Binyan Av) so that one may fulfill the mitzvot. This means knowing the halachot and practical conclusions and aspects of fulfilling the mitzvot as required by the Torah.
Therefore, all of the above constitute the mitzvah of Talmud Torah.
When reciting pesukim, however, it is forbidden to recite them by heart unless they are pesukim commonly cited(and it is required to recite them correctly so that their transmission doesn't change as a result of your mistake; hence the issur and see here http://www.chaburas.org/byheart.html).